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Say “Hola” to the LatinX Club at UAGC

By Leah Nanaa

Say “Hola” to the LatinX Club at UAGC

Whether you’re a LatinX student at the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) looking to connect with others of Latin American descent or you appreciate the culture and are looking for a way to support peers in the LatinX community, the LatinX Club should get you excited.

Established in early 2020, LatinX club faculty advisor Dr. Holly Lopez recognized that there was a need for a community like this as student demographics at UAGC became more and more diverse.

“Something I’ve always been interested as a Latina is the data that shows our Latino population has been growing from 11% to 18% over the last five years,” explains Dr. Lopez. “We serve a lot of students of color and ethnic minority groups. Most of these students are first in their families to pursue a college degree. I really wanted to create a platform that would be another outlet of support for student success.”

Currently, the club has approximately 250 members, but it’s poised for growth as it recently moved to the new engagement platform UAGC Connect.

“This move will allow us to offer a much wider array of resources, including a resource library, events, a conversation board, job opportunities, group email, and we’ll also be able to collect data and complete surveys that will help drive initiatives for growing our club,” says Dr. Lopez.

Ready to learn more about why you should join this fast-growing community of students and faculty? Read on for the top three reasons to join today.

“Our goal is to empower diverse leaders to combat stereotypes, promote cultural awareness, and embrace cultural diversity as a key factor for success. Non-LatinX membership is encouraged and welcome. There is strength in diversity.”

Top 3 Reasons to Join the LatinX Club at UAGC

If you find the term LatinX unfamiliar or are curious as to why it was chosen as a key component of the club’s name, Dr. Lopez breaks it all down:

“LatinX is a term that’s on the rise. It definitely comes out of academic study. Originally what it’s meant to do is to give people a way to avoid using a gender for a group. In most languages, especially the Spanish language, when you generalize a term such as Latino, that’s the male version. So, there’s a bit of a hierarchy when you are a Latina versus a Latino. LatinX really gives everybody an equal playing field and avoids that choice between ‘he’ and ‘she.’ Essentially, the goal is to fully represent people of Latin American origin or descent and unite people from all of those disparate backgrounds under this single umbrella.”

If you’re intrigued, continue reading to discover even more reasons to join this growing and thriving club at UAGC. 

1. Celebrate diversity and inclusion

Although calls for racial justice and equity have been growing in recent years, the events of 2020 lit a fire when it came to highlighting the importance of supporting minority populations. The LatinX Club establishes an outlet for students to get together to discuss issues that impact not only themselves but their communities and the world around them. 

“In light of the intense events and trauma around racial injustice last year – and the movements that both faculty and students were participating in – we created the Change Advisory Group. Its purpose was to drive and create initiatives to impact the entire university in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts,” explains Dr. Lopez.

The LatinX Club was a natural spin-off from this initiative, which is reflected in the club’s official mission:

“Our goal is to empower diverse leaders to combat stereotypes, promote cultural awareness, and embrace cultural diversity as a key factor for success. Non-LatinX membership is encouraged and welcome. There is strength in diversity.”

By becoming a member of the LatinX Club, you, too, can become a part of celebrating diversity and learning and growing from others in the community. 

2. It’s a safe, supportive place to network

Although the club was initially started to simply be a trusted place for LatinX students to find support, members are discovering the power in connecting with one another both from an academic standpoint and as they further themselves professionally. 

“The goal is to provide networking opportunities, activities, resources, and encouragement so that our students will be successful not just at UAGC but in their professional careers as well,” says Dr. Lopez.

As the club grows, there will be even more opportunities to interact with students, alumni, and faculty in ways that can come in handy academically and long after you achieve your degree. By becoming a part of this community early on, you have the chance to get in on the ground floor and help guide the conversation with other members. 

“Research shows that diverse companies and diverse teams are more successful, and I would like our LatinX students and all our students to really be empowered by statistics like that,” says Dr. Lopez. “Students will have this platform to rehearse participating in a community that they might encounter in the workforce.”

3. It can smooth out your path to graduation

As an advisor and an early childhood education expert who is passionate about helping learners succeed, Dr. Lopez says she sees her role with the club as both a facilitator and student advocate. 

“My goal is to support LatinX students to complete their degrees,” she says. “Everything from creating easy access to resources such as our LatinX career resource guide to highlighting leadership opportunities, including those at the Center for Women’s Leadership and creating a community that supports each person’s individual success. Research shows that for online learning communities, having any extra support is going to go a long way to retaining students and helping them complete their degree.”

By offering easier access to academic resources such as CHAMPS Peer Mentoring and spotlighting university programs that may not have a very high LatinX representation, participants in the club can enjoy a more robust support system as they discover fulfilling new ways to enhance their higher learning experience. 

“I’ve seen the power of social media, and I think our students are hungry for more support and resources,” explains Dr. Lopez. “If students can’t get what they need in one area online, this club will hopefully drive that and meet their needs.” 

Ready to become a part of a diverse and growing community?

The LatinX Club is open to all UAGC students, alumni, faculty, and interested participants regardless of race or ethnic background. Get started today by visiting UAGC Connect and creating a profile. Once you’re there, you’ll also be able to check out all clubs offered at UAGC and network with others in your Global Campus community. 

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Leah Nanaa is a frequent contributor to the Forward Thinking blog.

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